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Man Child

I can't really remember what our plan was, but I'm quite sure that it wasn't 2 babies in 16 months.....Trevor Dean Florida was our first experience with "God's plan for our family's children is soooo much better than our own!"  We were given the gift of a second man child, sturdy and strong with a tender heart and a will of iron on May 19, 1996.  This past weekend has been a sweet celebration of the baby grown up.

Since Trevor himself isn't too keen on hearing the details surrounding his birth (he wouldn't even let me play his birth video while his friends were here....sheesh, boys!!)  I've decided to chronicle the story here for the day his future wife or daughters want to hear his story......and maybe because it was such a precious time for his Momma!

There was a part of me that was hoping Trevor would be a girl, mainly just because I already had a boy and conventional wisdom said variety is the spice of life.  There was a bigger part of me that hoped the ultrasound would reveal another little Florida boy.  I envisioned brothers....a total immersion in little boy world with fire trucks, sports balls and super heroes.  Since I never had brothers, I think my "boy" dreams must speak pretty loudly to how great man-hood looks on my Dad and husband.  When the ultrasound tech said, "Congratulations, it's another little boy!"  I gave my baby boy blue dreams full rein.

Pregnancy with Trevor in my belly was pretty easy.  It was obvious he was going to be a big boy, but I felt strong and healthy.  He seemed to have settled in pretty growing belly started listing a bit to my left side where the palm of my hand could usually find the curve of a baby back nestled in as my right hand could pick out two little feet outstretched to the other side.  His first little man-cave seemed to include a  recliner where he enjoyed having a place to stretch out!

He was due May 31st.....but we woke up May 18th still discussing name options and unable to commit to one.  We got ready for a warm Saturday full of fun family and church events weighing the pros and cons of each of our favorites.  After visiting friends and playing at the park during a church picnic we gathered our church teens and headed for the local roller rink.  Momma didn't put skates on but I did enjoy watching Daddy and Riley take a few laps around the rink before sleepiness overwhelmed me.  Riley and I left Scott  and the kids to finish out the night and headed home.

As soon as Riley was snoring in his bed, I stretched out on the couch with the air conditioner at my back and the tv at my front and drifted off  to await Scott's return.  Instead of his entrance waking me as I expected though, warnings of baby boy #2's entrance did instead.  The achy, tired feeling I had brought home with me, had transformed into regularly spaced achy tired feelings with enough power to open my eyes.  I was tired enough to drift back to sleepyland after I labeled what was happening and woke the second time at Scott's return home.  He came in exhausted and declaring out loud how much he was looking forward to a deep night's sleep.  At my announcement, his eyes widened and he screwed up more "get the job done" power.  A quick check to make sure the hospital bag was ready and warning call to babysitter Uncle Eric, and he was off to sleep for as long as he could.

Now, my frame of mind at this point in the story is particularly important to the next 24 let me tell you what was going on in my mind.  First of all, everybody says that 2nd babies come in half the time of first babies because you and your body know what you're doing this time.  Well, I believed everybody and have just enough of a competitive spirit in me that I was convinced I could match that expectation and set a new record for myself just with the strength of my will.  Riley's birth had been an 8am Monday appointment for an induction and he had been born at 5:49pm.  9 hours, 49 minutes from very first fluttery contraction to baby boy.  My first contraction this day had happen spontaneously and while I was asleep, so it wasn't quite as easy to pinpoint, but I was sure it had happened by 11pm.  So by my calculations, I would be holding a sweet, sleeping newborn by dawn's early light and our church friends would all  raise their eyebrows in surprise as they sat in the pews and heard what I had accomplished in the few hours between our picnic and Sunday morning services!  In fact, I had invited my newly married little sister to be in the room for the birth this time so she could share the joy of my easy, fast, well-scripted baby birth experience....encourage her with the beauty of birth, you know??!  Keep that reasonable, totally well-thought out plan of an experienced mother in your mind as you read......

We left for the hospital around 3am and alternated between laughing like giddy kids and "breathing through" as we made the pitch dark drive to the hospital.  I fully expected the nurses to tell me I was ready to push as soon as we got settled in our room and my plan would be complete.  Instead, as they poked and prodded my belly and "ahem - other parts" I heard the words "Sunny-side up" for the first time.  I didn't know enough then for the combination of that description and the certainty of a big baby to run ice through my veins and upend my expectations.  I do now....oh baby, I know now!  These days I'm ready with a commiserating cluck and pat on the hand when I hear it applied to young moms I know.

I will spare you the sister still hasn't been able to wash certain things from her memory (although I'm happy to say that the experience didn't totally scare her away...she still gave me a great nephew!) but I will tell you this.  "Sunny side up" is a nice way of saying that your kid who made himself a recliner in your womb wasn't about to give up that comfy posture on the way out and instead of maneuvering his hard, round head around your tailbone and other immovable body parts he preferred to keep his Lay-Z-boy position and attempt to come out face up like a battering ram.  Dealing with this situation takes a lot of time, a lot of not pushing when all of creation tells you you're supposed to, a lot of un-natural positions that require extra staff to be brought in from the hallways to prop you up as your "gown" gives way to gravity,  a lot of blood vessel bursting and lip biting.  Oh....and did I tell you that sunny-side up babies produce a thing called "back labor" that isn't affected by epidurals like normal labor is???

My solution to dealing with this  change of plans was to set goals and pretend to still be in charge.  I asked my very nice OB to predict when the baby would be born as the light of the sun started peeking over the horizon.  I thought we still had time to pull off a beginning of service baby announcement at church.  I'll admit to tears when his answer was, "I'm sure by noon we'll be all done here."  But I gritted my teeth and decided that an end of service announcement could be ok too.  I'm not proud to admit to the whiny tone of voice I chastised Dr. Ligon with as I watched 12:00 creep up on the clock and we were still trying to turn a baby instead of birth a baby....I may have accused him of things that weren't his fault...

The gymnastics were successful, he turned his head eventually and tucked his chin like a good baby....and entered the world at 1:10pm.  Just on schedule.....God's schedule.  I was left with a bloody lip, every part of my body swollen and bruised, and a full heart because of the precious, beautiful boy that was placed in my arms.  He greeted me with a serious, thoughtful expression and wide open dark eyes that seemed to be speaking deep thoughts.

We thought that as soon as we saw him, his face would speak a name to us and we'd know which of our two favorites to use on his birth certificate.  Scott cut the cord and Dr. Ligon asked what the baby's name was....we looked at him, looked at each other.....and shrugged.  It wasn't that we couldn't agree, we agreed too much and had two names we really like...both would have suited him just fine.  Scott solved the dilemma when he said, "You know, we can't lose, their both great names so let's just flip a coin!"  The quarter came down and declared him Trevor Dean.  I can't imagine him anyone other than my Trev.

I fell madly in love then, when I hardly knew him....and am even more madly in love now that I've had 17 years to get to know him and hear some of the deep thoughts that were behind those soulful eyes.

  This baby has turned into a man I am extremely proud to call mine.  He's good, he's strong, he's a well spoken deep thinker and a defender of justice.  I love who he is so much, my heart feels like it's going to burst when I think about offering him as a man to the needs of the world.  I'm so glad that Trevor Dean Florida was born....and that I was chosen to be his Momma.

Happy birthday sweet boy!


  1. He's exceptional, no doubt. An exceptional kid with exceptional parents. I so love you all!


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